What are the risk factors for developing spasticity?

There are several factors that can exacerbate pre-existing spasticity, like pain, emotional tensions (joy, anger, grief), urination or bowel movement, infections, constrictive clothing, tight shoes, ingrown nails, inflammation, skin injuries, thromboses, and fractures.

After a stroke, high-grade paralysis and sensory disturbances are risk factors for the development of spasticity.

Why did I develop spasticity?

Spasticity happens when there is damage to the area of your brain that controls your muscles. If you have spasticity you will have increased muscle tone. Muscle tone is the resistance or tension in your muscles, and it is what enables us to hold our bodies in a particular position. An increased muscle tone can make it difficult to move your limbs.

source: Stroke Association (2012) Pain after stroke

What is spasticity?

Spasticity is one of several clinical features/motor behaviors that may result following damage to the part of the brain or spinal cord involved in controlling voluntary movement. Collectively, these features are known as the upper motor neuron (UMN) syndrome. Spasticity is associated with a pathologically increased muscle tone. This creates stiffness and resistance to passive movement (the word ‘spasm’ originates from the Greek word, ‘spasmos’, which means to drag or pull). This change in muscle tone may increase the disability related to the disease at the origin of spasticity.